Stewardship Conference 2014!

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Hello Park Friends!

Welcome to our new BLOG portion of the LOVE Your Park website! We are very excited to have a place where we can interact on a daily basis and where you can interact with each other!

My name is Meghan Geiser, and I am the new VISTA intern with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. To initiate our new blog, I would love to tell you about this past Saturday. On March 22, the Stewardship Team, a combination of members from Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy, held a conference for all of our Friends Groups at the University of the Sciences. We all had a great day of learning and collaboration to improve many aspects of our park work.

What a great turn out!  Thank you to our 90+ Friends who participated in our Stewardship Conference on Saturday! And a special thank you to the University of the Sciences for their beautiful facility and great hospitality. Dr. Raluca Ellis, our keynote speaker from the Franklin Institute, started off our day with a fascinating discussion about climate change. It is inspiring to see how even the smallest green space can make a huge difference. We are very fortunate to be in a community that values our environment and sustainability. Afterwards, we had a series of breakout sessions led by our very talented presenters:

David Bower presented “How to Recruit and Keep Volunteers”, where we learned that recruiting and engaging volunteers requires commitment, enthusiasm, and communication. “Social Media 101 and 201”, presented by Alain Joinville and Moria Miller, discussed how to connect with others by using Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Nicolas Esposito presented “Park Garden Design for Sustainable Landscapes and Habitat”, where we learned how to create lasting change in the landscape of our parks.

Our day concluded with a delicious meal catered by the university and some fun trivia with Patty Pat! The Friends of Clark Park also gave a wonderful tour of their park right across the street.

Overall, we really enjoyed the opportunity to offer workshops that our Friends felt were helpful, and to see everybody as we prepare for another busy season!

Below is feedback from a few of our Friends Group members,

“I appreciate the interwoven organizational smarts & flexibility in your outreach to allow folks like me to attend this free but invaluable program. So often these days, one hears of the ineffectiveness of government and non-profit programs…..with some implication that the only effective operations are corporate, profit-driven, or occasionally institutional.  But the clarity, effectiveness, & earnestness of the presentations from Michael DiBernardinis to PPR, FPC, the workshop presenters and after lunch fun-raising was a joy to experience.   Great communication really goes a long way to create good will…..and you all “did good” providing good content and making us feel good in the process.  I personally want you to know that it was enormously appreciated!”

“It was a fun, informative day, thanks to all the hard work it was a simply fabulous event.  It makes me a believer that we can have fun and volunteer.”

“I thought the forum this morning was an overwhelming success with a lot of useful information exchanged between everybody, so I thought I’d share a document from David Bower on Volunteer Recruiting. Really insightful tips for our organizations.”

And here are some great photos from the conference!














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